Design, Mediation, and the Posthuman
Though the progress of technology continually pushes life toward virtual existence, the last decade has witnessed a renewed focus on materiality. Design, Mediation, and the Posthuman bears witness to the attention paid by literary theorists, digital humanists, rhetoricians, philosophers, and designers to the crafted environment, the manner in which artifacts mediate human relations, and the constitution of a world in which the boundary between humans and things has seemingly imploded. The chapters reflect on questions about the extent to which we ought to view humans and nonhuman artifacts as having equal capacity for agency and life, and the ways in which technological mediation challenges the central tenets of humanism and anthropocentrism.Contemporary theories of human-object relations presage the arrival of the posthuman, which is no longer a futuristic or science-fictional concept but rather one descriptive of the present, and indeed, the past. Discussions of the posthuman already have a long history in fields like literary theory, rhetoric, and philosophy, and as advances in design and technology result in increasingly engaging artifacts that mediate more and more aspects of everyday life, it becomes necessary to engage in a systematic, interdisciplinary, critical examination of the intersection of the domains of design, technological mediation, and the posthuman. Thus, this collection brings diverse disciplines together to foster a dialogue on significant technological issues pertinent to philosophy, rhetoric, aesthetics, and science.
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